- Electric toothbrushes can make your dental hygiene routine easier and more thorough.
- We spoke to 3 dentists and tested several electric toothbrushes for which are the best on the market.
- Our top pick, Hum by Colgate, cleans teeth well, has three settings, and is rechargeable, all for just $70.
If you’re someone who takes your oral care seriously, it only makes sense that you would want the best possible tools. While there’s nothing wrong with manual toothbrushes, electric toothbrushes can help you clean your teeth more thoroughly and more easily. While the majority of the studies comparing the two device types are funded by personal care brands, a few unbiased scientific reviews and small studies do suggest that electric toothbrushes may be better at reducing plaque and preventing gingivitis, and possibly at reducing gum bleeding and inflammation.
Moreover, dentists love electric toothbrushes because the built-in timers encourage you to brush for a full two minutes – a big bump from the average brushing time of 45 seconds with a manual one, reports the American Dental Association.
“I would say that nearly 100% of people not already using one would benefit from an electric brush,” Courtney Hain, DDS, dentist and owner of Smile San Francisco told Insider. (Find out more about how if the upgrade from manual to electric is worth it in our FAQ section.)
Electric toothbrushes can also be a godsend for those with limited dexterity, but they make brushing easier for virtually everyone. Since electric toothbrushes cost more than manual ones, it’s important to pick one that’s worth your money. (Hain also points out its important to use the brush properly, especially if you have issues like gum recession. See more in our FAQ about who should and shouldn’t use an electric toothbrush.)
We spoke to three board-certified dentists about the advantages of electric toothbrushes, tips for shopping and use, and some of their favorite products available today.
Here are the best electric toothbrushes
- Best overall: Hum by Colgate
- Best budget: Quip
- Best advanced/deep clean: Philips Sonicare 9900 Prestige
- Best smart brush: Oral-B iO Series 9
- Best for kids: Quip Kids
The Hum by Colgate cleans thorough and offers advanced features and modern design for just $70, making it the best value.
Pros: Affordable, easy to use, great design, can subscribe to brush heads, smart app connectivity
Cons: Not as many fancy settings as high-end ones
The Hum by Colgate proves that not all worthwhile electric toothbrushes need to be expensive. Although it’s not as customizable and in-depth as other top-tier options on the market, the Hum electric toothbrush features more than enough pulse settings — normal, sensitive, and deep clean — and pairs with an app that helps monitor your progress and overall oral health.
The Hum by Colgate toothbrush comes with a charging stand and a travel case for $70. You can also opt for the battery-powered model, which also comes with a travel case, for $50. The key difference between the two models is that the battery-powered version only has two pulse settings — normal and sensitive. But for most people, that’s more than enough, our dentists confirm.
For the low price of either, you still get an accompanying app, which is a helpful tool that gives you a visual of which areas you’ve sufficiently covered and which still need attention. You can track your progress while you brush, but your results are also recorded if you don’t have your phone nearby. The app is aesthetically pleasing and, if you like game-ifying everyday tasks, you’ll enjoy using it to collect points and rewards.
If you’re curious about smart features, but not prepared to plunk down a few hundred bucks, Hum is an affordable choice. — Amir Ismael and Ariana DiValentino
The best budget electric toothbrush
The Quip is a sleek-looking toothbrush with a gentler brush great for beginners and those with sensitive teeth, or someone looking to try out an electric toothbrush for under $50.
Pros: Low price, great for travel, sleek design, replaceable head and battery, comfortable to use, ADA-accepted
Cons: Not the most powerful, no adjustable settings
If you’re looking to try out an electric toothbrush, but you’re not prepared to drop significant cash, the Quip is a stylish and affordable option. Its basic, plastic model goes for just $25, with metal and smartphone-integrated versions starting at a reasonable $45.
The plastic version has a nicely contoured handle that’s easy to hold and slim enough to fit inside a travel Dopp kit. It takes a single AAA battery, so there’s no need to carry around a charging station. There’s only one mode, so it’s also a no-brainer to use. There are no rotating heads, but the sonic vibrations are more effective than brushing manually, and a 2-minute timer (four 30-second pulses) ensures you know to brush for the recommended time. The toothbrush is also accepted by the American Dental Association.
Brushing with the Quip is a gentler experience compared to most of the other options on this list, but that actually makes it great for beginners and those with sensitive gums: it’s simple to use and easier to prevent brushing too hard.
Conversely, people experienced with electric toothbrushes might find the intensity a little lacking, and might miss having multiple settings to switch between.
Quip offers subscriptions for brush head replacements, so every three months a fresh one will arrive at your doorstep (along with a AAA battery) for just $5 each. You won’t have to mark your calendar to remember when it’s time to switch.
The best advanced/deep clean
Dentists love Philips Sonicare and its new 9900 Prestige has every bell and whistle you could want in an electric toothbrush, including the ability to adjust its vibrations based on how hard you’re brushing.
Pros: Protective pressure and motion sensors, personalized guidance, dentist-recommended, autosyncs with Sonicare app
The Sonicare 9900 Prestige was a close second for our top overall pick since it has everything and does it all exceptionally, but its higher price point drove it into a more niche, luxury category. That being said, if you’re the type of person who likes to spare no cost for a top-of-the-line product to score the best possible daily cleaning, the Sonicare 9900 Prestige is for you.
All three dentists we spoke to are fans of the Sonicare line, citing the brand’s clinical research supporting its efficacy in removing plaque and preventing gingivitis as some of the strongest in the industry. The 9900 is the newest of Sonicare’s advanced electric toothbrushes, and it bears a careful blend of power, gentleness, style, and tech. Sold in sleek black, champagne, and pink, it won’t look too bad sitting on your bathroom counter, either.
During my testing, I found that the sonic vibrations feel like a little massage for your gums, and the brush head’s soft, long bristles are useful for getting into tight crevices without feeling stabby. The brush has three different power settings, which you can easily cycle through by pressing the three dots that indicate the level chosen.
Aside from the top-notch cleaning, the Prestige has excellent AI features, including sensors to tell you you’re pressing too hard or moving too much, and the ability to actually alter the brush’s intensity to counteract the pressure you’re applying. I personally found it easy (and even pleasant!) to use, and I’m fairly new to using electric toothbrushes.
Like most electric toothbrushes, it runs for two minutes with pulses at each 30-second interval to help you keep time. The app is straightforward and helpful, tracking your coverage, pressure, and motion and giving you suggestions to improve your technique.
The package comes with only one new A3 brush head (which I really liked, due to its long, angled bristles that easily cleaned around my molars), and replacements are relatively steep at $30 for two. That said, the brush body is compatible with any of Philips Sonicare’s click-on brush heads, which do include some cheaper options.
The best smart brush
The Oral-B iO Series 9 is great for experienced electric toothbrush users who like tracking their dental health with data.
Pros: App gives thorough feedback, small round brush head to give teeth individual attention, sensors let you know when you’re pressing too hard
Cons: Expensive, noisy, may be intense for some users
Oral-B electric toothbrushes, and the iO series in particular, are loved by dentists because they boast a strong clinical backing for effectiveness in removing plaque and preventing gingivitis and bear the ADA seal of acceptance. It’s another top-of-the-line product, comparable to the Sonicare Prestige in price and capabilities, but we found that the iO’s greatest strengths are in its smart features, which is why we awarded it best in this category.
The app gives detailed information on coverage, with helpful and clear visual guides to show you where on your teeth you’ve brushed adequately and where missed spots. It also alerts you when you’re applying too much pressure and keeps track of how long you’re over-pressuring to help you learn and improve your practice. If your dentist has told you that your brushing habits need improvement — or if you’re just curious and abundantly careful when it comes to your health — this could help you turn it around.
The app also allows you to input goals, like whitening, and then coaches on how to best attain that. It also makes the whole process fun by incentivizing you with collectible achievements and scored brushing sessions.
The brush itself has seven different settings, including specific ones for cleaning your tongue and gums. I personally found the experience to be a little intense (and loud), even on the sensitive setting, but more practiced users might enjoy the power and variety of settings. The brush head is small and round, like the kind used in dentist’s offices, so you can polish each individual tooth and navigate around the back teeth. It definitely takes some getting used to — even with the small brush head, I gagged myself a few times — but this thing is no joke, and that’s probably why it has such a devoted fanbase of dentists and customers alike.
The replacement brush head pricing is also comparable to the Prestige, at $30 for a pack of two.
The best electric toothbrush for kids
The Quip kids brush is an affordable and dentist-approved choice for little ones.
Pros: Low price, great for travel, replaceable head and battery, ADA-accepted
Cons: Only one setting, no fun gimmicks
Teaching kids proper oral health is important, and for some, the tech of the electric toothbrush’s apps will get them excited to brush. Also, since children haven’t fully developed their fine motor skills, electric brushes can help their lack of dexterity.
The Quip kids brush is a nice upgrade from a standard manual toothbrush without excessive bells and whistles or an intimidating price tag. Like the adult model, the basic Quip kids plastic brush is only $25. If you want app integration so you can track your child’s brushing habits, the smart version is only $20 more. Some parents will find this useful for teaching kids healthy brushing habits, like making sure they brush for a full two minutes.
The Quip brush keeps it simple and isn’t too “little kid” for your Big Kid, but also has addition like music, bright designs, and game-like app integration useful for very young children. The brush handle is also made of a soft, grippable rubber, so it’s easier for little hands to hold and maneuver than the hard plastic body o fother brushes. And the gentle vibrations mean less toothpaste splatter.
Lastly, if you also opt for an adult Quip yourself, the company’s replacement brush head subscription option is a time-saver for busy families.
Our testing methodology/How I tested
We deferred to our expert sources for recommendations on which specific models they like and would recommend to patients, and we considered which electric toothbrushes have earned the ADA seal of approval. We read customer and professional reviews, and we personally tried out several different electric toothbrushes to take note of ease of use, speed, noise, differences in bristles, and value for cost.
What to look for in electric toothbrushes
There are a few universal considerations for a good electric toothbrush: You want one that holds a charge for at least a few days and has changeable pressure so you can ramp up the power of your brushing as you get more used to the sensation. The four 30-second timers are one of the strongest benefits of an electric toothbrush, our dentists say, but nearly every model has that feature now. Always opt for brush heads with softer bristles — too-hard ones aren’t any more effective, and can ultimately cause more harm than good. If you have limited dexterity or there are areas of your mouth that you have trouble reaching, a small and/or flexible brush head is best for you.
But the vast majority of what to look for in a good electric toothbrush comes down to personal preference. Do you want a brush that’s rechargeable or uses a replaceable battery? What’s the price point you’re comfortable with (be sure you’re also taking into consideration how much replacement heads are)? Lastly, do you want smart features that give you feedback on how much pressure you’re applying and which spots you tend to miss? In reality, most of our dental experts said the smart features don’t do much to improve the quality of clean, but if you’d benefit from seeing a digital map of your mouth and confirmation you didn’t miss any areas, smart features may be a good choice for you.
As for how to know if an electric toothbrush is safe and effective, that’s a little harder. We usually turn to the American Dental Association (ADA), who evaluates dental care products and, if the professional organization determines that there’s sufficient evidence supporting a product’s claims and benefits, grants a Seal of Acceptance. It’s great to use a brush that has the approval of an independent committee of dentists like the ADA, but the review process is optional and somewhat costly, so it doesn’t need to be your end-all, be-all when shopping. Paul Springs, DMD, a prosthodontist with Dr. Mondshine and Associates in Queens, NY told Insider that the ADA seal is less important for electric toothbrushes than some other product categories, like toothpaste, because it’s much less likely to cause harm than a poorly formulated toothpaste. A brush that doesn’t have the ADA seal may very well still be a great product.
What else we considered
We researched and tested several electric toothbrushes on the market. These didn’t make our top picks because other products beat them in terms of value for cost, professional recommendations, and user experience – but they still have their strengths and have the potential to be someone’s favorite:
- Smile Direct Club electric toothbrush ($19): This was the lowest-priced brush we came across, from the brand already well-loved for its invisible aligner program. The Quip had stronger credentials (ADA acceptance and customer reviews), which is why it earned the best budget brush spot over this one. But we still found it to be a solid battery-powered brush with the right amount of intensity and comfortably soft bristles.
- Philips One ($25 for battery version, $40 for rechargeable): You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars to try out the brand dentists love to recommend. The Philips One is a great budget option that comes in stylish colors, and AAA-battery-operated as well as rechargeable models. The brush heads are well-priced, too, at $10 for two.
- AquaSonic Vibe ($37): The Vibe model is an all-around solid choice for a rechargeable electric toothbrush that doesn’t include smart features, and it’s sold in pretty shades like rose gold and metallic grey. The Vibe also boasts ADA acceptance, signifying its proven benefits in plaque removal and gingivitis prevention. It was originally priced at $140, but at its current markdown, it’s a good deal. We also love that it comes with eight brush heads – way more than any other product we found – and refills are affordable, too, going for $19 for eight.
- BURST Sonic Toothbrush ($100): The hum offers more features for less money, the BURST is a sleek and respectable product, with its diamond-faceted handle and three intensity settings. Brush heads go for $8 each.
- BURSTkids Sonic Toothbrush ($70): Like the adult BURST brush, we wish this one offered smartphone integration for the price it’s going for. Still, the silicone handle and two different settings (standard and sensitive) make it an appealing choice.
- Brusheez ($20): If the Quip kids brush isn’t exciting enough to get your little one motivated to brush their teeth, Brusheez are another affordable choice for children. They come in 9 different animal character styles, like Luna the Llama and Shadow the Shark. Instead of shutting off or pulsing after two minutes, it comes with a sand timer – lower tech, but the visual cue may work better for some kids.
- The CO. Worker ($99): Colgate’s new CO. line looks and feels like a cosmetics brand (hence why they’re selling at Ulta stores), and the CO. Worker electric toothbrush is pretty, with its white and gold body, pink bristles, and pastel ombre carrying case. It has some advanced features, like pressure sensors, but ultimately we felt other products offered comparable benefits at better prices. If aesthetics are a high priority, it’s a fine pick.
- Spotlight Sonic Toothbrush ($150): With three settings and no app integration, we felt that this brush offered less than some others, like the hum, for more money. But the small, almond-shaped brush head is great for maneuvering into tight spaces (which is no surprise, given it was designed by dentists) and the brush bodies come in nice colors.
- Soothsonic by Tend ($100): The Soothsonic, like the Spotlight and CO. Worker, is a little expensive for a brush that doesn’t include smart features. But we do like the small, teardrop-shaped brush head with soft bristles, and the mint green travel case it comes with is super cute.
Who should use an electric toothbrush?
According to the dentists we spoke to, virtually everyone would benefit from upgrading to an electric toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are especially useful for people with limited dexterity or mobility issues, but for most, their primary benefit is a psychological one.
“Just the fact of their additional cost can be a motivating factor for some people to use the brush to its full effect,” Dr. Paul Springs said. Similarly, they almost always have 2- to 3-minute timers, which encourages most people to brush for a lot longer (and, therefore, more thoroughly) than a manual brush.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t use an electric toothbrush?
If you’re someone who already tends to brush too hard, electric brushes may worsen the problem, causing damage to gums and teeth. The good news is that many brushes on the market today have sensors to alert you if you’re pressing too hard, so you can adjust your technique. Ultimately, if you have concerns about gum recession or tooth structure, talk it over with your regular dentist. They can give you personalized advice.
Are electric toothbrushes really better than manual toothbrushes?
Well…it depends on you. There is some clinical evidence that supports electric toothbrushes being more effective at removing plaque from molars and premolars, but the dentists we consulted with said that it’s perfectly possible to clean your teeth thoroughly and effectively with a manual toothbrush.
“Contrary to popular belief, a manual toothbrush can do just as excellent a job as an electric, assuming the user has the appropriate manual dexterity and motivation,” Dr. Springs told Insider.
An electric toothbrush just makes your job a little easier, plus they generally have a timer to let you know when you’ve brushed for the recommended full two minutes. Again, the benefits are mostly psychological, so go with whatever is going to help you brush regularly and for an appropriate length of time.
Lastly, electric toothbrushes are more landfill-friendly, since you’re only tossing out the small plastic head rather than and entire plastic manual toothbrush.
Can I brush my teeth for less time if I’m using an electric toothbrush?
Nope, sorry. In fact, what dentists often like most about electric toothbrushes is that they include a timer to guide you towards brushing for two minutes, which is the ideal time to use any toothbrush, manual or electric. But it might be an easier two minutes, especially if you’re someone with limited dexterity.
Dr. Ben El Chami, DMD is a dentist and the co-founder and chief dental officer of dntlbar, a family of Manhattan dental practices.
Dr. Courtney Hain, DDS is a dentist who owns and operates her own practice, Smile San Francisco.
Dr. Paul Springs, DMD, is a prosthodontist who practices with Dr. Mondshine and Associates, a dental practice in Forest Hills, Queens, NY.
The best deals on electric toothbrushes from this guide
Electric toothbrushes are one of those things that you don’t want to spend a whole lot of money on. Of course, biting the bullet on a good toothbrush can save you in the long run, and a nice discount can make that easier. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Amazon Prime Day are when we see all time lows, but you can still find $10 to $15 discounts throughout the year.
Below, find the best deals to help you enjoy brushing your teeth a little more.
Shop the same prices from other retailers:
Check out our other oral care guides